However, not everyone gets positive results, says Jonty Skinner, who has coached Moses and other members of the U.S. Olympic swim team to 13 gold medals and oversees research and development at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
"Some people are considered responders," Skinner said. "They gain a lot more than non-responders, which probably has more to do with genetics than with training."
(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)
Heading up? Try to take your time
Because all bodies react to dramatically different altitudes, even average athletes need to remember that their workouts will change in high altitudes. Lowlanders planning mountain trips this summer should remember these adaptation tips from exercise experts:
* If possible, go up slowly. Driving to a high-altitude destination is physically easier than flying, simply because your body will have more time to adjust.
* Don't hit the ground running. It takes your body a few days to acclimatize, so allow time to adjust before setting out on that big bike ride or mountain climb.
* Drink lots of water. Most of the minor ill effects of high altitude can be reversed with hydration. Skip the alcohol, which will dehydrate you even more.
* Listen to your body. Everybody reacts to altitude differently. Even if everyone else in your group feels all right, you may not. If you start to experience symptoms of altitude sickness -- nausea, headache, dizziness -- back off.
* Have a way to descend quickly. Serious altitude sickness can be deadly.
* If you know you're prone to altitude sickness, ask your doctor for acetazolamide (brand name Diamox). If you take it before you go, it can help your body adapt faster. The medication works by helping neutralize the blood's alkaline, which changes in high altitude.
Source: Dr. Christopher B. Cooper, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.